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2021 Atlanta Braves: Home Opener Series Preview

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As the 2021 Atlanta Braves head into the season, there is excitement in the air. The Braves, coming off a 2020 season where they went 35-25, are hungry and looking for a deeper playoff run this year. The 2021 home opener is Friday, so let’s take a look at what’s ahead.

2021 Atlanta Braves: A Slow Start

The Braves return home after a tough season-opening road trip. After getting swept in three games by the Phillies, the Braves traveled to Washington. They lost the first game against the Nationals, then rallied to win the next two games. Their record stands at 2-4 on the young season, heading into the home opener. They should be thrilled to see Truist Park on Friday.

The Braves’ opponents for the home opening series will be their NL East Division rivals Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies come into the series with a record of 5-1, tied for the best record in MLB in the early going. They swept the Braves last week and then took two of three from the Mets, however, those games were all at home; now the Phils will have to venture out on the road.

Who’s Hot – Braves

Ronald Acuna, Jr. is hitting .304 with two home runs and four RBIs. He is the only 2021 Atlanta Braves starter who is hitting over .211. It has been a tough start for the Braves’ bats.

Pablo Sandoval only had five plate appearances so far. He has made the most of his opportunities, with two homers and four RBIs, along with an OPS of 2.600 in five plate appearances.

Huascar Ynoa has pitched six innings in relief and struck out five while allowing just three hits and walking one. He has an ERA of 0.00. He has been a pleasant surprise for the 2021 Atlanta Braves.

Who’s Not – Braves

Freddie Freeman is hitting .111 with one home run and one RBI. He has posted an OPS of .582 coming into the weekend. This from the reigning National League MVP.

Marcell Ozuna is hitting just .100 with no home runs and no RBIs. His OPS so far is just .317. He has also struck out nine times in just six games.

Ozzie Albies is hitting .091 with an OPS of .221. He is hitting 2 for 22 with one walk. These numbers just cannot go on for much longer.

Who’s Hot – Phillies

J.T Realmuto is hitting .333 with one home run and six RBIs. He has posted an OPS of .962 so far. He is the Phillies’ leading hitter

Rhys Hoskins is hitting a robust .417, with one home run and four RBIs. He has impressive OPS of 1.209.

Reliever Hector Neris has appeared in four games and has an ERA of 0.00. He has allowed just one hit and struck out five while walking two.

Who’s Not – Phillies

Andrew McCutcheon has struggled to open the season. He is only hitting .176, with no home runs or RBIs.

Jean Segura is hitting .217, with just one RBI. All five of his hits are singles, and he has struck out seven times already.

Alec Bohm is hitting .227 in the early going. He does have one home run and seven RBIs. He has also struck out seven times in his first six games.

Probable Pitching Matchups

Friday (7:20 EDT) Phil: Wheeler, 1-0, 0.00 ERA vs Braves: Morton, 0-1, 5.40 ERA

Saturday (7:20 EDT) Phil: Eflin, 0-0, 1.29 ERA vs Braves: Anderson, 0-0, 1.80 ERA

Sunday (7:08 EDT) Phil: Moore, 0-0, 5.40 ERA vs Braves: Smyly, 0-0, 3.00 ERA

The 2021 Atlanta Braves need to get off to a good start at Truist Park. The Phillies come in with solid pitching, so it will not be easy. Hopefully, Freeman, Albies, and Ozuna will find their swings at home. If they do, the Braves will be in position to get on a roll in the NL East.

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Main image credit: Embed from Getty Images

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Mike Fisk is a lifelong baseball fan. For him, there is nothing like being at a baseball game, with the sights, the sounds, the smells. Writing about baseball is a bonus!